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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  February 12, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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men's speed skating. got a lot. >> brian williams is next. be back with you at 6:00. >> i did like the leather pants. on our broadcast tonight, hitting hard, those warnings about a crippling situation in the south, they're now a reality. hundreds of thousands of people are in the dark, big cities like ghost towns, airports shut down and cars abandoned on highways and it is all sliding north. also sky high, the weather continues to make news here in sochi, as well, where it is warmer than almost the entire continental u.s. some tough conditions out there on the course. fighting breast cancer tonight. tonight one of the largest studies on whether or not mammograms actually save lives, controversial research reigniting this debate over screening, dr. nancy snyderman is here with all of it. and a legend in comedy is gone, although we remember what he built. tonight, we remember the great sid caesar.
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nightly news begins now. good evening, tonight, on the interstate in north carolina people who are unable to move forward are parking their cars, locking the doors and walking away in the middle of the storm. they will retrieve them some other time. but for now, tonight, a storm is moving up over top of them at speeds faster than traffic on a good day, a very large snow and ice storm that now almost follows the path of i-95 to the north. we estimate that upwards of half a million people are without power tonight. a staggering number, considering the wires may stay down now for days. schools are out, some cancelled days in advance. airports obviously shut down, and we can see how air travel has diverted around the area and in some places, the precipitation is falling as ice.
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we have it all covered. al roker is here, and peter alexander is in hard-hit north carolina, and mark potter will start us off in atlanta tonight, mark, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian, the word here in atlanta, the weather is just miserable, and expected to get even worse tonight and tomorrow. already some 5500 flights have either been delayed or cancelled. the city of atlanta learned a hard lesson from the last big storm, when thousands of motorists were stranded on area roads, including i-85. this is that same stretch of highway today as people now heed official warnings and stay off the roads. still, there was no escaping the ice, the weather problems began today shortly before dawn when freezing rain became slush and ice, causing accidents. as trees grew heavy with ice, they began to fall. this one fell into a house where
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an 88-year-old woman was sleeping in this bed when the ceiling collapsed. her grandson said while injured she is lucky to be alive. >> and she was just covered with insulation and sheet rock. >> reporter: power crews spent all day repairing downed lines as more than 200,000 georgia homes and businesses lost service. >> just getting the lights back on. >> reporter: while some who lost power have generators for lights and heat others are not so fortunate. >> we have a fire going, that is basically it right now. candles, no phone service either. >> reporter: as the roads became more dangerous, plows tried to keep pace with the weather. among those staying home today are the ackermans, for robert, the dad, and bert, the mom, having their daughters and all their friends home from school now is a bit of a challenge. >> the first couple of days are fun then you get stir crazy. >> elsewhere trees in south
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carolina are hit with ice and tennessee roads are covered with snow. the weather forced thousands of flight accumulations and left the airport in atlanta a ghost town as the deep south digs out and braces for more. mark potter, nbc news, atlanta. >> reporter: this is peter alexander in north carolina where thousands of drivers found themselves stuck in charlotte's web. with up to six inches of snow falling, more than the city averages in an entire year. by noon the backup extended for miles. >> we have been out here for two hours. >> every since the turn, we have been out here for an hour. >> reporter: drivers left spinning their wheels. >> i guess people don't know how to drive in the snow. >> reporter: a city official here says i never wanted this in charlotte, but for a lot of drivers stuck here it is starting to feel that way. while crews began to prep roads days ago many drivers ignored warnings to stay home. earlier today the state's governor urged residents to stay home. >> don't put your stupid hat on at this time.
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protect yourself, your family and your neighbors. >> reporter: on social media, tweets offering traffic advice while others asked for help. friends stuck in a ditch, then an hour later, they were rescued. the grid lock extended to durham, too, with some people abandoning their cars altogether. the highway paralyzed with traffic now is finally cleared. but there is more snow and sleet and ice expected overnight. brian, this is the biggest storm to hit charlotte in a decade and it has already crippled parts of the carolinas. >> peter alexander, mark potter before that. gentlemen, thank you very much. all of that brings us to al roker, and this is a monster storm. >> that is right, sadly, brian it is performing as we thought it would. take a look, we still have ice warnings for much of southern georgia into the carolinas. and then as you move to the north we'll see more winter
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storm warnings and watches and advisories all up the 95 corridor all the way up into northern maine. and looking at the radar you can start to see there is snow now changing on the west side of atlanta. the ice will make its way into parts of the carolinas, all the way up into virginia and maine have snow up there. high pressure bringing in northeasterly winds with cold air filtering down. the problem is we have nowhere for the cold air to go. it slams up into the mountains so as the rain falls it freezes and that cold air traps it as the levels of atmosphere start to freeze up. we see the rain freeze and it changes to snow. so ice levels continue up to an inch of ice from augusta to columbia, all the way up into raleigh and up into southern and central parts of virginia. and as this system makes its way up into the coast this is the 32-degree line, you can see the rain and snow making its way west of i-95.
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as the snow deepens the low pressure moves up the coast. we are looking at snow accumulations that start heavier in the south and start to taper off a little bit. asheville, eight to ten, seven and ten in charlotte, roanoke, brian we're looking at five to eight inches of snow in new york city. and vermont could see the biggest amount, 16 inches of snow. >> ten inches in asheville alone, they're not built for that accumulation, and all the wires down for a long time. al roker, part of our team, thank you. almost perverse to say this given the suffering going on in the u.s. tonight, but here at the olympic winter games, the story was the warm weather today, close to 60 degrees. and that is not good for the conditions or for the athletes trying to compete on the course. chris jansing in sochi tonight with a report on all of it. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian, two ski jumpers crashed tonight during training on what
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was described as a tricky landing area. already, they have had their practices limited because of the wind. and while the weather has not forced the cancellation of any competition, had has made for some dangerous conditions. spring came to the winter olympics in sochi today, 59 degrees, beach weather on the black sea and a balmy 50 degrees up on the mountain, where it counts. >> the weather is absolutely gorgeous which is, of course, challenging, but nothing we are not prepared for. >> reporter: officials dismiss the worry as premature, even though cross country was a crash course yesterday. and today, the adjacent course has americans worried. >> definitely for the training it was very difficult. they had to just go slow and deal with it. >> reporter: but there were also scenes of celebration, and germany's eric frenzel jumped for joy after winning. and vermont's devin logan was
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with a terrific run. >> i turned to the girls and said is this really happening right now? we're at the olympics, i can't believe we did it. i am still shocked. >> reporter: upstate new york cheered its hometown girl made good. erin hamlin was feeling the glow of bronze. >> i thought holy cow, at first i could only laugh, i thought this is actually happening. it is insane. >> there are firsts for everything. >> reporter: her medal made history, the first ever for an american man or woman in singles luge. >> your daughter is an olympic medallist. >> you might make me cry. >> reporter: and there is a new team relay in luge, and team usa is among the favorites so erin hamlin could win another medal. brian? >> chris jansing for us tonight. we have an update on the crisis in syria where today they resumed this evacuation of people who have been trapped in the besieged part of the city,
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rebel-held part of the city of homs. about 200 people were brought out of the city by aid workers, bringing the total to about a thousand, that is progress. and about the woman we showed you two nights ago crying out after her lost son, after an intense effort to find out more on this we have been told they have been reunited. sad word arrived from the west coast today, we lost a giant in the world of comedy, sid caesar has died, he practically invented television comedy and his writers became giants themselves starting with melbrooks, neil simon and carl riner, who tonight called his old partner, sid caesar, the great est single sketch comedian that television has ever known. >> reporter: it is safe to say there would be no saturday night live, no carol burnett show, and way fewer people taking chances if there had never been a sid caesar.
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it was called "your show of shows." no one had seen anything like it. television was brand-new, sid caesar understood it early on, his co-host, imogene coca, was fresh on the scene and fresh towards the host. it was 90 minutes of live and often improv tv, good enough to make people stay home on saturday nights. >> i think sid caesar's legacy will be changing what comedy means on television, from more of a vaudeville radio style medium to the tv comedy that we know today. >> reporter: sid's parents were from poland and russia, and given the last name of caesar, at ellis island. they ran a restaurant in new york, and that is where sid learned to mimic and speak in cadences of immigrants, nbc later created a show called "caesar's hour" which lasted a
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while. so did his movie career, including it is a mad, mad, mad, mad, world and "grease". >> after the slaughter is over, we're going to come back here. >> reporter: a few tv roles followed, as well. but it turns out some stars shine brightly and briefly and that was sid caesar. he paid a price for his fame and struggled with alcohol and drugs before pulling himself out with a lot help later. >> if you can be honest with yourself, oh, you got it licked. >> reporter: sid caesar used to say dying is easy, and comedy is hard, it is now clear that what he built in life is a comedy legacy that lasts to this day. sid caesar, the architect of so much of what we enjoy today, gone tonight at the age of 91. and we'll take a break, when
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we come back, fighting breast cancer, the largest study ever done on mammograms, the results are in, and controversial. and dr. nancy snyderman will have more later. and later, more from sochi and inspiring an american champion from the heartland.
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back as promised with the results of a big medical study that is reigniting the debate over the value of mammograms where it is often so confusing to know who or what to believe, researchers look specifically at whether or not mammograms save lives. the results, causing further confusion and conversation over what women are supposed to do. we get more on this from our chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman. >> reporter: whether or not to have a mammogram is becoming one of the most controversial and confusing decisions for women today, like patients who met at this new york cancer center. >> you are afraid of getting too much radiation. but it is something you have to take a chance because you want to save your life.
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>> reporter: this latest study is one of the largest ever done. following over 90,000 women in canada for 25 years. it found that there was no difference in the rate of death from breast cancer between women who got yearly mammograms and those who did not. what is more, researchers found that 22% of the cancers found were over-diagnosed, meaning they would not have shortened patients' lives if left untreated. >> mammography screening is better at catching the slow-growing tumors that are less aggressive and actually less likely to kill us. and we're less likely to find the more aggressive, serious ones. >> reporter: noted breast cancer surgeon dr. susan love says spending more money on mammograms isn't the answer. >> the answer has got to be moving that money into figuring out what causes breast cancer in the first place. and how can we stop it from happening. because if we can do that then we don't need to find it once it is there.
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>> reporter: some say that early screening was more important when newer treatments were not available. this study is the first to include women who have benefitted from drugs like tamoxifen, which many credit for increasing life expectancy. the critics say that the mammograms, while not perfect is the best screening tool we have. >> it will miss tumors we wish it would find, and actually find tumors that don't need to be treated. it will cause false alarms, all this taken together we recommend that women still get mammograms. they will see a benefit in it. >> the american cancer society recommends annual mammograms beginning at the age of 40 but says it will consider today's study as well as other research as it reviews its regular guidelines. and i should point out that critics are saying it is not a perfect study. but i would just say very few studies are and it is one more piece of evidence. >> and what about all the other anecdotal evidence, women saying
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early findings saved my life. while you guys, the doctors figure that out, what should people do? >> and this is one of the big points, the science and women are not comfortable with the message because we want to believe that screening will save our lives. but one person said this is a little like the tsa, we feel better after we have been screened but it doesn't necessarily mean we're getting to the root of the problem. we need to put more research money into what causes breast cancer. >> all right, dr. nancy snyderman here with us, with that story, thank you as always. another break, we'll be right back in a moment with a big announcement from one of the all-time greats.
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ray nagin, the controversial former mayor of new orleans who rose to public attention during hurricane katrina has been convicted on federal charges of corruption and bribery found guilty of accepting payoffs. he faces decades in prison now. a glittering state dinner at the white house last night for the visiting french president. came stag, and steven colbert
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learned it pays to have a french name. he sat at the table. and first lady michelle obama turned heads in what was roundly reviewed as a stunner. and mary j. blige was the entertainer, there was no dancing planned to make it uncomfortable for the french president who came alone. and say it ain't so but there it is on facebook today, derek jeter making the inevitable official. he will retire after his next season, his 20th season as a yankee. there is no one like him in the game, 13-time all-star, he broke gehrig's hit record. which stood for 70 plus years. with five world series rings he is the consensus hall of fame, obviously. and just imagine the ticket prices for number two, the captain's last game at yankees stadium. and speaking of grown men crying, this was the type of headline you had to read twice when you first saw it today, eight perfectly good corvettes have given their lives in a sinkhole underneath the national corvette museum in bowling green, kentucky. fans will be interested to know it included a zr-1 and 6, oldest was a '62 vet.
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several were on loan from chevy. one spokesperson said the cars at least fell gently and maybe can be mostly restored. of course it is located in a geographic area with a lot of caves and natural springs. when we come back, a woman on a real fast track here in sochi.
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finally here tonight, part of being here at these games for us is the chance we have to do the up close and personal segments to go behind the events
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and get a look at the lives and journeys of the athletes that took them here. well, tonight kevin tibbles reports on a team usa member who has come a long way from a farm in kansas and found her calling on one of the fastest sports on ice. >> reporter: in the wide open flatlands of rural kansas comes the contagious laugh and shock of red hair that is katie uhlaender. the 29-year-old loves the slow pace on her family's farm, but her real passion is speed. >> i am an all-american girl farmer and go fast at 80 miles an hour. >> reporter: her sport, aptly called the skeleton, a sled stripped down to the bare bones, a single rider hurdling head first down a sheet of ice. who taught you how to compete?
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>> my father was -- very adamant about being competitive. >> reporter: her father was the late major league outfielder and first base coach ted uhlaender. >> i would never win anything, he would win at cards, with him, i never really won. >> reporter: sochi is her third olympics. she is a former world champion and she is even trying out for the olympics in weightlifting. >> she talks about it. >> reporter: mom, karen, says that katey is carrying on her father's legacy. do you think her dad would be proud of her? >> oh, yeah, he was puffed up like a bull frog when the two of them were together. >> reporter: her dad died a year before the vancouver games. heartbroken and recovering from knee surgery she finished a disappointing 11. she took over her father's farm to honor him and regain her footing. do you miss your father? >> yes, of course, every day.
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i thought you were not trying to make me cry. >> reporter: that is the make you cry question. that was it. personal loss is not the only obstacle to the podium. she suffered a serious concussion in a training accident in october. >> i can't do anything about a concussion or broken knee but i can do something about the way i respond to it. >> reporter: she has responded in the same way she takes on everything, head first, just like they do it out here. to you, farmers are heroes? >> athletes and farmers live a very similar life-style. because it is not like you work a nine to five job, you get up and you get it done. >> reporter: and getting it done is what the tough, all-american farmer is all about. kevin tibbles, nbc news, atwood, kansas. >> thank you for joining us, i'm brian williams reporting from these winter olympic games in sochi, a reminder, prime time
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coverage tonight begins at 8/7 central. and remember once again, full coverage of all the overnight competition when america wakes up tomorrow morning on today. we of course hope to see you right back here tomorrow night. good night. it's going to be missed by a lot of people. >> at 6:00 a man trying to help a friend stabbed to death in downtown san jose and businesses say this violent attack is new evidence of a troubling trend. good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm jessica aguirre. >> i'm raj mathai. violence in the downtown area, an area filled with new restaurants and new housing but growing concern of public safety. we want to show you a map now, this is the fourth deadly stabbing in the city, and the sixth homicide of the year in san jose. many of these attacks have
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happened downtown. this time it involves a bouncer at a well-known bar. nbc bay area's marianne favro is downtown with the latest and the concerns of local business owners there. >> reporter: raj, many wiz owners we spoke with this afternoon say they are concerned about the increase in violence and fear that it may chase away some of their customers. friends of the victim say that he was a bouncer here at johnny v's nightclub behind me in downtown san jose. they say even though he was off duty last night, he still made it a point to help others. witnesses say the victim worked as a bouncer at johnny v's bar but was not on duty last night when he follow add rowdy patron out of the bar and on to first street. that's when that off duty bouncer was stabbed to death. detectives are not officially releasing his name but the victim's friends say they are in shock. >> just a

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